Real Estate Blog

5 Things Your Mortgage Lender Wants You To KnowUnique economic and health uncertainty have changed our daily lives, our interactions, and the way we conduct business. For some of us, it has offered new perspective into our wants and needs. A home where once content, we’ve now discovered it’s time to make a change.

With record-low interest rates and low inventory, our local real estate market has become a competitive race for buyers to find their next home. Now more than ever, it's critical to be pre-approved before starting your search if you want to stay ahead of the pack. Read on buyers, there are some post-COVID new norms when it comes to home financing you’ll need to keep up with.

We talked to a couple of local lenders and here are 5 important things you need to know about new lending

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2020 2nd Quarter Market UpdateAs we rounded the halfway point of 2020, we reflected back on the 6 months behind us. We’ve moved from a pandemic lockdown to a gradual reopening. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has reshaped how we live our lives. Unique health, social, and economic factors have intersected to create an equally unique housing environment. Even during these inclement times, our local real estate market remains strong. As we emerge from these unprecedented times, we take stock of the present and make plans to move forward.

One question residents of Macon County want to know: What’s happening in our local real estate market?

Through the first half of 2020, there were 636 sales vs. 574 sales in the first half of 2019 which represents a 10.8% increase in the number of

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Tips for Buying a Home in a Seller’s MarketThe housing inventory continues to ride lean and low in Macon County. For home buyers, that means increased competition, and in some cases, even bidding wars.

“These days if you sleep on it, you’re not likely to sleep IN it,” laughs Brinkoetter Realtor, Louis Kappler.

So if you’re thinking about buying a home today, when properties are selling almost as quickly as they’re listed, here are a few tips to consider that will help you hold your own in a seller’s market. 

Tip #1: Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

One of the smartest things you can do to ensure your chances of buying the home you want is to apply for a pre-approval on a mortgage. Applying for a mortgage after making an offer on a home may signal to home sellers you’re not as motivated to

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Pros and Cons of Selling Your Vacant HomeAs a Seller, maybe you have the option of selling your home before you’ve moved out, or after you’ve moved out when it’s sitting vacant and ready for its next owner. It’s only natural to consider which scenario would be most advantageous. After all, if there’s something you can do to make the sale of your home a little easier, why not?

But while common sense might tell you that your vacant home will be easier, and more manageable, to sell than trying to sell while your home is still occupied, you may be surprised to learn that there are good arguments both ways.

Let’s break down the Pros and Cons of selling a vacant home. 

Pros of Selling a Vacant Home

1. The home is easier to show.

Without occupants, the listing agent has much more flexibility to

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Home Warranty Vs Home InsuranceOwning a home is the one of the greatest investments you’ll ever make. Protecting your assets is not just smart—it’s necessary. The best way to do this is to purchase both a homeowner’s insurance policy and a home warranty. Purchasing both will cover your home, belongings, and appliances in case they need replacement or repair. But understanding the differences of the two products is helpful for any homeowner. 

Home Warranty

A home warranty is an insurance for parts of the home. Not the home itself, but it covers the home systems and appliances. Technically, it is a residential service contract that covers the wear and tear of things in a home.

Most homeowners have experienced an appliance breaking down. And when you own dozens of appliances, you’re

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What makes a house a home has just as much to do with what’s around it as what’s in it. So when it comes to buying a home, it’s important to find the neighborhood or community that matches your lifestyle needs.

North, South, East, WestBefore your Brinkoetter Realtor can begin to help you look for a home, it’s a good idea to develop a list of needs and wants. For some buyers, the home itself is what matters most. Perhaps they are set on a particular style, size, or layout of the yard. But for others, the neighborhood is more important.

Here are a few tips:

Determine a Budget

If you have an unlimited budget you may be able to find the perfect home in a desirable neighborhood, but since most buyers need to meet a budget, you may have to make a compromise on either the home or its

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What is Flex Space?“Flex Space” is a hot and trendy buzz term used in today’s real estate, used to describe an area of your home that can be used for multiple purposes. It could be an entire room, or just a specific space.

The purpose of Flex Space is to provide homeowners with flexibility as their needs and lifestyles evolve. For example, a recent retiree may turn a home office into a new space for hobbies and craft work. Young families preparing for their future needs may see potential to accommodate more bedroom spaces. What’s an extra seating area today may be a nursery tomorrow.

Some Flex Space examples might include:

- Home Office
- Playroom
- Home Gym
- Media Room
- Craft Space
- Extra Living Room
- Walk-In Closet / Storage

The best thing about a Flex Space is that it can

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Key Team Blog2020 has been a year of improvising and transitioning to virtual platforms, and real estate is no different. We've had to adapt many of the ways we collaborate as a team, show houses to buyers, market our sellers' listings, and sign contracts. 

Before the COVID era, we enjoyed multiple collaborative meetings as a team throughout the week either in our office, or in a local restaurant or coffee shop.  During the stay at home order we knew we still needed those regular touch points to collaborate for our clients, as a team, so we have utilized FaceTime calls, group chats, and even meeting in our homes while maintaining a safe distance. We can't wait to start meeting together in local small businesses to do our collaboration.

Because community

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Web StatsOver the last 30 days, has seen over 315k Pageviews and nearly 70k Sessions. That’s an increase of 45% over the same time last year.

“Although no one could have predicted the extent of nation’s current circumstances, we were positioned for this,” says Brinkoetter Digital Media Director, Ryan Campbell. “As a company we have always been committed to technology, and using innovation to better communicate with clients. But now more than ever, Brinkoetter’s branded techniques have meant that even from the safety of home, buyers and sellers are able to continue in their real estate process without major interruption.”

According to Campbell, not only are more clients visiting, they’re spending more time there, using the online

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Here come the Millennials! Are you a Millennial Home Buyer? Yay! Carry on with your bad self.

Everyone else: Read on.

Changing tides in real estate may be attributed to a number of factors. Low rates, new technology, the demand for speedier results, and a call for virtual accessibility have all impacted the way companies are doing business.

But one more influence may also play a part. The Millennial generation.

Millennials now represent the largest share of the home buying market at 39%. Their slower approach to homeownership, relative to their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts, is often attributed to affordability, student debt, and tighter lending standards. But as they continue to age and mature over the next decade, they’re finding themselves ready to settle into

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